Love for the Poor


Love for the poor

The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) enjoined upon Muslims to treat the poor kindly and to help them with alms, Zakat, and in other ways. He said: "He is not a perfect Muslim who eats his fill and lets his neighbor go hungry."

He asked, "Do you love your Creator? Then love your fellow beings first."

Monopoly is unlawful in Islam and he preached that "It is difficult for a man laden with riches to climb the steep path that leads to bliss."

He did not prohibit or discourage the acquisition of wealth but insisted that it be lawfully acquired by honest means and that a portion of it would go to the poor. He advised his followers

"To give the laborer his wages before his perspiration dried up."

He did not encourage beggary either and stated that

"Allah is gracious to him who earns his living by his own labour, and that if a man begs to increase his property, Allah will diminish it and whoever has food for the day, it is prohibited for him to beg."

To his wife he said, "O A'isha, love the poor and let them come to you and Allah will draw you near to Himself."  [Sahih Bukhari]

One or two instances of the Prophet's (s.a.a.w.) concern for the poor may be given here. A Madinan, Ibad Bin Sharjil, was once starving. He entered an orchard and picked some fruit. The owner of the orchard gave him a sound beating and stripped off his clothes. The poor man appealed to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) who remonstrated the owner thus:

"This man was ignorant, you should have dispelled his ignorance; he was hungry, you should have fed him."

His clothes were restored to the Madinan and, in addition, some grain was given to him [Abu Dawood]

A debtor, Jabir Bin Abdullah, was being harassed by his creditor as he could not clear his debt owing to the failure of his date crop. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went with Jabir to the house of the creditor and pleaded with him to give Jabir some more time but the creditor was not prepared to oblige. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) then went to the oasis and having seen for himself that the crop was really poor, he again approached the creditor with no better result. He then rested for some time and approached the creditor for a third time but the latter was adamant. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) went again to the orchard and asked Jabir to pluck the dates. As Allah would have it, the collection not only sufficed to clear the dues but left something to spare. [Sahih Bukhari]

His love for the poor was so deep that he used to pray: "O Allah, keep me poor in my life and at my death and raise me at resurrection among those who are poor." [Nasai]

Competing in Sin

 

If there is a phrase that can describe the world today, it has to be "Competing in Sin!"

Many Muslim governments, groups and individuals have taken an un-Islamic path and are trying to do what non-Muslim governments, groups and individuals are doing. It is a competition in sin and Muslims are losing. About fourteen hundred years ago, one of the most beloved person of the Muslim ummah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote a letter to a military commander and said:

Sin is even more dangerous than the ruses/tricks of the enemy. Amirul-Momineen bids upon Mansur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah T’ala. We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them. We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipments they have got. Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.  

Competing in Sin!

{tab= 1. Outline} 

Outline

  • Surah Al-Teen
  • Comments on asfala safeleen
  • A careful analysis of Current world crises and the state of the Muslim Ummah is needed.
  • One of the letters of Umar bin Abdul Aziz to his military commander may give us an understanding.
  • Statistics
  • The sentences from the letter again
  • Ayah on unjust killing


 

 

سورة التين - سورة 95

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

1.     وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُونِ

2.     وَطُورِ سِينِينَ

3.     وَهَذَا الْبَلَدِ الْأَمِينِ

4.     لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

5.     ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَاهُ أَسْفَلَ سَافِلِينَ

6.     إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ

7.     فَمَا يُكَذِّبُكَ بَعْدُ بِالدِّينِ

8.     أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِأَحْكَمِ الْحَاكِمِينَ

THE FIG, THE FIGTREE, CHAPTER NO. 095

With the Name of Allah, the Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer

095.001 By the Fig and the Olive,

095.002 And the Mount of Sinai,

095.003 And this City (Makkah) of security,-

095.004 We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,

095.005 Then do We abase him (to be) the lowest of the low,-

095.006 Except such as believe and do righteous deeds: For they shall have a reward unfailing.

095.007 Then what can, after this, contradict thee, as to the judgment (to come)?

095.008 Is not Allah the wisest of judges?

 

Yes Indeed!

 

This Surah tells us, among other things, that if a person does not have the true faith (Eiman) and is not striving for righteous deeds (amal-us-saleh), using The Holy Quran and Sunnah as The Guidance, then even though every person is created by the best of moulds, that person becomes the lowest of the low!   Asfala Safileen.

Islam is taken as a complete way of life. Righteous deeds therefore are not limited to prayers, Zakat and fasting.

{tab=2. An African Boy & a Vulture} 

The world we live in todayis filled with great number of occurrences of brutalities, blood baths and destructions caused by people. So many by Muslims, but so many more by non-Muslims. So if I can give a topic to this article, it is Muslims “Competing in Sin” with non-Muslims.

Our spiritually living hearts are feeling great pain at the sufferings of humanity caused by many governments, deviant groups and individuals. Today, a man may feel safer in a jungle surrounded by wild beasts than in many human societies. Wolves are claiming to be shepherds and they are complaining that the sheep is bad.

 

Look at the picture below very carefully:

 

 

In this 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, an African boy, nothing but a skeleton, was trying to crawl towards a U.N. Food Shelter, about one kilometer away. Behind his back, a few yards away was a vulture waiting for the boy to die to feast. The vulture did not attack the living boy. It could have. But it has God-given law that it follows. Even the animals have law of God that they obey. Not the man. So many governments, groups and individuals have become worst than the vultures!

{tab=3. Umar bin Abdul Aziz}

Umar bin Abdul Aziz (r.a.)

One way to understand the current world crises is by what Umar bin Abdul Aziz (r.a.) said in a letter he sent to one of his military commanders named Mansur. His words show his deep understanding of the Quran and Sunnah. You will see how it is so applicable today, even though he said so about 1400 years ago.

In his letter, he says that “sin is even more dangerous than the ruses/tricks of the enemy. Amirul-Momineen bids upon Mansur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah T’ala. We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them. We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipments they have got.

Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.”

About fourteen hundred years ago, Umar bin Abdul Aziz told us that when we compete in sins, we loose! We loose in the Akhirah and we loose in this world. And certainly, the loss in the Hereafter is far greater than any loss in this world!

{tab=4. Some Statistics} 

SOME STATISTICS:

To understand this point further, I want to give you a brief on some statistics, especially from the twentieth century. These statistics come from an article, titled, “Christian versus Muslim Violence in History.”

 

We can look at the start of Christianity and see how millions of Christians were tortured and killed by Christians, but let us just pick a few major events from the history.

 

The Crusades

The European armies were saying, as they slaughtered Jews and both Christian and Muslim Arabs: “Kill them all, God will know his own.”

Europe's Reformation and Counter Reformation Era

Two thirds of the Christian population of Europe was slaughtered by Christians

The African slave trade

Claimed the lives of 10 million

The Colonial Conquests

Estimates for the number of Native Americans slaughtered by the Europeans in North, Central and South America run as high as 20 million within three generations.

The 20th century's Western Civilization took warfare to new extremes

A conservative estimate puts the total number of brutal deaths in the 20th century at more than 250 million. Of these, Muslims are responsible for less than 10 million deaths. Christians, or those coming from Christian backgrounds account for more than 200 million of these! The greatest death totals come from World War I  and World War II. In World War I, about 20 million killed, at least 90% of which were inflicted by “Christians”. In World War II ( 90 million, at least 50% of which were inflicted by “Christians,” the majority of the rest occurring in the Far East).

In the 20th century alone

 

Western and/or Christian powers have been responsible for at least twenty times more deaths than have Muslim powers in the whole of Islamic history.

In the 20th century, Rawanda, 1994

Witness the slaughter of 900,000 Rwandans in 1994 in a population that was over 90 % Christian

1992-1995 Bosnia

The genocide of over 300,000 Muslims and systematic rape of over 100,000 Muslim women by Christian Serbs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on these and other events, the article draws a conclusion:

“The horrible truth is that, numerically and statistically speaking, Christian Civilization is the bloodiest and most violent of all civilizations in all of history, and is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. Even so, Muslims will never associate this violence and blood bath with the teachings of Jesus (peace be on him).”

When we look at recent brutal events, we find that Muslims killed Muslims in Iraq-Iran war and Iraq-Kuwait war. Additionally, certain deviant groups of Muslims caused the tragedy of 9/11, hijacked planes, killed innocent civilians, and some of which is still going on.

These are events as if these people and groups are trying to compete in sin!

As a result of some of these evil events, non-Muslim governments and groups have killed several hundred thousand people in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

{tab=5. Conculding Remarks}

CONCLUSIONS:

As far as unjust killings are concerned, let us remember what the Holy Quran says:

 

Speaking about the first murder committed by a son of Adam, Allah T’ala says in Surah 5, Ayat 32:

 

مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الأَرْضِ

 فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاء تْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا

 بِالبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ

5.32. On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

This ayah teaches us that ONE unjust killing is one too many!

This commandment applies to the Israelites, to the followers of Jesus (a.s.) and to Muslims.

 But who is following it?

Muslims should, even if no one else does.

 

Islam is a message for the salvation of humanity. It is to save not to destroy people. Islam is not terrorism. It is not for self revenge. It is not hate, it is love. Law of Islam is based on The Holy Quran and Sunnah. It is not what others do. There is a strict code of Law even in wars.  [Read at http://www.islam101.com/rights/hrM4.htm ]

 

Those Muslims who go against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.a.w.) and commit crimes against humanity have to face Allah T'ala one day and answer to the Almighty. We all do! There is a Day of Judgment for all mankind! Let us be true followers of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.). Let us not compete in sins!

Ishaq Zahid

Sept. 1, 2006

{/tabs}

Harry Potter: Facts about Fiction

The following is a four years old article by Khalid Baig, but with a new movie out, it is worth reading before one decides to go to the cinema. (July 10, 2007)

  

Harry Potter: Facts about Fiction

By Khalid Baig

As expected there was much frenzy around the latest Harry Potter book. Bookstores and clubs around the world arranged special midnight parties and other events in celebration of the launching of the long-awaited fifth book in the series. A grandiose countdown was held in Times Square for the coming of the fifth book.

The book was set to break many old records. Online bookseller Amazon had already received one million pre-orders of the new book, its largest pre-order ever. Scholastic, the American publisher had ordered 8.5 million copies as the largest first printing ever. Worldwide, 13 million copies of the book had rolled off the presses in a massive print run.

The other books in the Harry Potter series have been translated into more than 55 languages, including Urdu, Persian, and Turkish. Nearly 200 million copies of the first four books have been sold in 200 countries.

What is all this craze about?

The series chronicles the growing up of a young orphan wizard named Harry Potter who attends a secret magic boarding school called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry is a very unique wizard. His parents are killed while he is a baby by a wicked powerful wizard named Voldemort, but generally called "you-know-who" or "he-who-must-not-be-named". Voldemort fails in his attempt to kill Harry and instead is nearly destroyed when his magic rebounds on him. Harry is left with a lightning shaped scar on his forehead.

Harry is sent to live with his "muggle" (non-magical people) relatives for the next ten years. He lives a miserable life, tormented by his aunt and uncle and his spoiled cousin. They attempt to keep him from knowing that he is a wizard.

Then, suddenly a letter arrives from Hogwarts on his eleventh birthday, changing his life completely. Harry finds out he is a wizard and rather famous for his encounter with the evil lord Voldemort. Despite opposition from his aunt and uncle, Harry goes to the wizard boarding school where he meets new people, including his best friends Ron and Hermione. Harry discovers that he has both admirers and enemies.

Each book details the events of one school year.

The main characters in the story have few noble qualities; they lie with impunity, use profanity, don't respect their elders, break rules regularly, and are unrepentant.

While the books are characterized by most people as innocent fantasy and entertainment, they contain many evil messages - not all of which are subtle.

The books glorify magic and sorcery. Harry and his classmates regularly cast spells, brew potions, learn to tell the future, communicate with the spirits of the dead, train magical animals, and ride brooms. They study astrology, crystal gazing, numerology, transfiguration, and divination. Darker things occur as well such as murder, human sacrifice, drinking of unicorn blood, etc. The fight between good and evil in this book is actually a conflict between "good magic" and "evil magic", both of which are evil.

The books are in effect promoters of paganism. They glorify magic and paganism while non-magical people, called Muggles, are despised and portrayed as boring, narrow-minded, and paranoid of magic.

Not surprisingly, the main characters in the story have few noble qualities; they lie with impunity, use profanity, don't respect their elders, break rules regularly, and are unrepentant.

And for all these qualities and more, the books are popular and are having an effect. It is the "in" thing to purchase the book. And not just the book. Children have gone crazy over Harry Potter memorabilia, surrounding themselves with Harry Potter T-shirts, posters, toys, costumes, wands, hats, etc.

The media has been glorifying the book that glorifies sorcery.

Welcome to the world of capitalism and paganism, where superstitions and the occult reign supreme in the hearts and minds of people, and where the twin forces have forged an "alliance of the willing" that is doing its "magic" on a global scale.

Capitalism is all about maximization of profits and if that requires appealing to the lowest instincts and the darkest recesses of human nature, so be it. Millions of dollars have been spent on advertising the latest craze on billboards, buttons, bumper stickers, and posters etc. U.S. publisher Scholastic alone has planned a $4 million marketing budget for this single book - among the largest advertising budgets ever for a book.

The media machine --- equally adept at political, cultural, and commercial propaganda --- has been doing its part faithfully, paying a great deal of attention to the smallest events relating to the coming of the fifth book. It has been glorifying the book that glorifies sorcery.

Even if it were innocent entertainment (which it is not) the extreme devotion would be unjustified. But this culture is given to extremes and incidents of mass craziness are nothing new in it. The cabbage patch dolls craze in the 1980s was similar to current craze over the Harry Potter books. The Cabbage Patch Dolls were the fad of the 1980s. The most distinctive feature about them was that each doll looked a bit different from others and came with its own unique name and birthday, "adoption papers," and a "birth certificate." Marketing gimmick and television coverage combined to make sales explode starting in 1983. Chartered planes were used to bring the dolls from the overseas manufacturing plants to meet the ever increasing demand. Fist fights among eager customers often broke out in retail stores when a shipment of dolls arrived. In 1985, Coleco posted record sales of $600 million, thanks to their Cabbage Patch Kids.

When life has no higher purpose, entertainment and fun become the over-riding goal in life. When there is no belief in or clear concept of God as Creator and Master of the universe, superstition, sorcery, and the occult become fascinating.

When life has no higher purpose, entertainment and fun become the over-riding goal in life.

It is a reflection on the state of the society that there has been scarce opposition to this series that promises to become darker with each new release.

The Role of Muslims

In this current state of hysteria, Muslims should have played an important role in opposing this book and exposing the flaws of this culture. It is the duty of Muslims to guide the world, rather than blindly follow the ignorant masses. The Qur'an commands us in Surah Al-Kahf, "And don't obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds." [Al-Kahf 18:28]

Yet, unfortunately, we find very little opposition or reflection from Muslims, many of whom have chosen to blindly follow the pop culture. Many Muslims have assured themselves that the books are harmless fiction. Others even claim them to be beneficial because they encourage reading. Reading what? It does not occur to them to ask that question.

Islam prohibits both pointless entertainment (lahw) and sorcery. But countless Muslims seem to be unaware of that. And they are the ones fascinated by Harry Potter.

ref. url: http://www.albalagh.net/current_affairs/harry_potter.shtml

There Are NO Islamic Terrorists!

Ignorant media, ignorant or hate-mongering "scholars" are busy in coining terms and propaganda of falsehood. Islam and its teachings are defined by the God, Almighty and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) and no one else!

A widely used term is "Islamic terrorists". Sorry, but there are NO Islamic terrorists. It is true that some with Muslim names have committed acts of murder and terror, but then there are governments, groups and individuals all over the world, some Muslim and some non-Muslims, engaged in such evil activities. When you use the word "Islamic", you associate it with the Islamic teachings. Islam does not teach evil. Islam asks for Faith, submission and obedience to God and God alone. Take it or leave it. Choice is yours. False definitions of Islam and propaganda of falsehood can only come from disciples of terror. Don't be one.

Now, let us read the following report:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Media Briefing

AI Index: POL 10/026/2006 (Public)
News Service No: 135
23 May 2006


Report 2006: Address by Irene Khan, Secretary General,
Press conference, Foreign Press Association, London

 

    Covering 150 countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, Amnesty International Report 2006 is a commentary on the state of the world’s human rights. It covers a range of issues and the responsibilities of governments - big and small - armed groups and business. But the overarching message that comes through is that:

    Powerful governments are playing a dangerous game with human rights.

    Those with power and influence – the US, European Union members, China and Russia – have been either complicit or compromised by human rights violations in 2005 at home and abroad.

    Governments continued to sacrifice principles in the name of “the war on terror”.

    A year ago, almost to the day, here in this room, on behalf of Amnesty International (AI), I called for Guantánamo prison camp to be closed. What was then AI’s lone voice has now become a large and influential chorus, including opinion leaders in the US, religious figures, key governments and UN entities, including the UN Committee against Torture. The US Administration reacted strongly to our call, but in a recent interview on German TV, even President Bush said that he “would very much like to close Guantánamo and put the prisoners on trial”. We in AI strongly urge him to do that or to release them immediately.

    A year is a long time in politics – but it is an even longer time if you happen to be a prisoner without charge, trial, or prospect of release in Guantánamo. Some 460 people of around 40 different nationalities remain in Guantánamo. Their desperation is evident in the large numbers of suicide attempts, in one case more than 12 times, and hunger strikes. Last Friday’s incident of the attack on prison guards was yet another sign of the desperate situation. Guantánamo is a pressure cooker waiting to explode.

    Guantánamo is only the tip of the iceberg of a large network of detention centres in Iraq, Afghanistan and secret locations around the world where the US and its allies are holding thousands of prisoners without charge or trial. Last week the UN Committee against Torture asked the US delegation whether the US maintains secret detention centres, the delegate responded: “No comment”.

    Duplicity and double speak have become the hallmark of the war on terror.

    Senior US officials – including Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and President George Bush – gave assurances that the US does not practice torture. Yet, our research over the past year has shown evidence of widespread torture and ill treatment in the US-controlled detention centres. Our research also shows that the CIA has forcibly transferred prisoners to countries where they have been tortured. The IT industry outsources software development to India – the US outsources torture to countries like Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

    A new aspect of the “war on terror” in 2005 was the concrete evidence that European governments are partners in crime of the US in rendering or transferring prisoners forcibly to countries where they have been tortured. At least seven European countries have been implicated in the rendition of fourteen individuals – but so far only one country (Italy) has opened criminal prosecution against the CIA.

    Public outrage has forced accountability, with investigations by the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and some national institutions, into renditions and US-run secret prisons.

    Public institutions refused to undermine the prohibition on torture. The UK House of Lords rejected the argument of the government that it is lawful to introduce evidence in court proceedings that has been extracted as a result of torture by foreign agents abroad.

    The US Senate adopted a law prohibiting the torture and ill treatment of prisoners in US custody anywhere in the world.

    Sadly, instead of accepting and welcoming the efforts of courts and legislatures to reinstate respect for human rights, some governments found new ways to deny or dodge their international obligations

    Bending to Republican pressure President Bush signed the bill prohibiting torture, but attached a statement effectively reserving the right of the executive to bypass the provision on national security grounds.

    The UK professed to uphold the prohibition against torture but then, negotiated diplomatic assurances from countries that have a record of torture so that it could freely return people, including persons who had been tortured there previously. Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Egypt, Algeria are all countries with which the UK has obtained or is in the process of obtaining such guarantees.

    The position in international law is clear. Nothing can justify torture and ill treatment. Just as we must condemn terrorist attacks on civilians in the strongest possible terms, we must resist claims by governments that terror can be fought with torture. Such claims are misleading, dangerous and simply wrong – you cannot extinguish a fire with petrol.

    When the US government ignores the absolute prohibition on torture and fails to investigate abuses by its soldiers, when the European governments bury their collective heads in the sand and refuse to question their own record on renditions, racism or refugees, they damage their ability to champion human rights elsewhere in the world.

    Not every human rights abuse can be attributed to the war on terror but there is no doubt that it has given a new lease of life to old fashioned repression in some parts of the world.
    In 2005 it provided an effective smoke screen for governments in the Middle East and North Africa to carry on with arbitrary detention, torture, unfair trial, suppression of political dissent, ethnic persecution, for instance of Kurds and religious minorities. These governments today do with greater confidence what they did in the past with fear of criticism. The war on terror has seen the rehabilitation of Libya, formerly considered a terrorist state, with the US re-establishing diplomatic ties, and the UK negotiating diplomatic assurances. On Sunday a Swiss Amnesty member in Tunisia was expelled, and yesterday a Tunisian member was arrested and then released – just two cases among many of harassment of human rights defenders.

    But the real cost of the war on terror has not only been in the curtailment of civil liberties but in the lives and livelihoods of the poor.
    2005 saw the biggest ever mobilization of civil society and public support to eradicate poverty. But in response, the UN Summit showed governments miserably failing to match promise to performance on the Millennium Development Goals. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and riots in France, 2005 was also a year which showed the glaring disparity, discrimination and alienation in the heart of richest countries of the world.

    Women’s human rights have been another hidden casualty of the war on terror. March 2005 marked the 10th anniversary of the Beijing Platform of Action for Women – but rather than building on the progress, it was spent resisting the backlash from conservative forces who have gained new lease of life in the current security environment. War on terror gets attention – the war on women goes unnoticed, with hundreds of women, for instance, in Mexico and Guatemala being killed with impunity; or 25% of women globally facing sexual abuse at the hands of their partner.

    At a time of unprecedented globalization, with barriers to goods and capital being dismantled, 2005 saw the building of borders against refugees and migrants. Ignoring the economic exploitation of illegal migrants, governments focussed instead on building borders – whether against Burmese workers in Thailand, or African migrants in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and now in the US.

    The security agenda of the powerful and privileged hijacked the energy and attention of the world from serious human rights crises.
    Social development was not the only casualty. The forgotten conflicts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East took their toll. Israel and the Occupied Territories also slipped off the international agenda in 2005, deepening the distress and despair of Palestinians and the fear of Israelis.

    Powerful governments squandered their resources and spend their capacity in pursuit of military and security strategies that reaped a bloody harvest.
    The score card of continued conflict and mounting human rights abuses are there for all to see in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    The failure to investigate or prosecute abuses committed by their own soldiers or private security contractors undermined the claims by the Multi National Forces (MNF) that they were restoring the rule of law in the country. The current strategies of the Iraqi government and the MNF are clearly not working. When the powerful are too arrogant to review and reassess their strategies the heaviest price is paid by the poor and the powerless: in this case ordinary Iraqi women, men and children.

    Governments, collectively and individually, paralysed international institutions and squandered resources and capacity in misguided military and security strategies.

    Darfur was the saddest case in point in 2005. Two million people have been displaced, over 200,000 have died, thousands have been raped and the atrocities continue unabated. Intermittent attention and feeble action by the United Nations and the African Union fell pathetically short of what was needed in Darfur. China and Russia paralysed the UN Security Council to protect their oil interests and arms trade with Khartoum. The US was keen but its capacity was sapped by Iraq, and its moral authority tarnished by the war on terror.

    In a year in which the UN spent much of its time discussing reform and membership of the UN Security Council, it failed to give attention to the performance of two key members – China and Russia – who have consistently allowed their narrow political and economic interests to prevail over human rights and responsibilities domestically and internationally.

    Russia’s behaviour sent a strong message on human rights to its close neighbours. Its hostility to its own human rights defenders did not go unnoticed by other states with similar desires to clamp down on civil society. Russia supported Uzbekistan when it refused to allow an independent investigation into the Andizhan killings. Russia’s own approach to Chechnya was based on impunity for the abuses committed by its own security forces.

    China’s rise as a global economic power places upon it greater responsibility in international relations. But China continued to show little concern for human rights at home or abroad, entering into economic partnerships with some of the most repressive regimes around the world, and continuing to restrict human rights at home.

    2005 has been a year of contradictions – with signs of hope wrestling against failed promises and failures of leadership.

    The overall number of conflicts worldwide has been decreasing, thanks to international conflict management, prevention and peace-building initiatives, giving hope to millions of people in countries like Angola, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    In Nepal, resistance by human rights defenders, journalists and political leaders, on the one hand, and firm pressure from allies abroad on the other, forced the King to hand power back to Parliament.

    Despite the shortcomings of national judicial systems, the fight against impunity continues to gain new strength with steps being taken to bring Augusto Pinochet, Alberto Fujimori and Charles Taylor to justice. The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first indictments against leaders of armed groups in northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The much discredited UN human rights machinery was overhauled and a new Human Rights Council has been established.

    And in 2005 we saw an extraordinary display of solidarity and resistance across borders of human rights activists and ordinary people. From indigenous groups rallying in Latin America, to women asserting their rights in Asia, to mass demonstrations of migrants in US cities, the human rights idea – and the world-wide movement of people that drives it forward – is more powerful and stronger than ever.

    More and more, governments are being called to account: before legislatures, in courts and other public forums. Lines, however fragile, are being drawn. Voices are being raised. This offers hope for a more principled approach to human rights and security in the future. In the long-term, this growth of civil society and mass action bodes well for the protection of human rights. There is real potential here for change.

    As we look forward to 2006 it is clear that there are both opportunities and risks – through our campaigns we are putting four challenges.

    First, Guantánamo must close. President Bush should keep his word. His credibility will be held hostage until he ends this shameful symbol of US abuse of power. The US and its allies must disclose the names and locations of all others held in secret detention – the detainees should be prosecuted or released.

    Second, small arms are the real weapons of mass destruction. They fuel conflict, poverty and human rights abuses worldwide. The UN Review Conference this June is an opportunity for governments to agree to an Arms Trade Treaty. We call on all governments to support it.

    Third, the new UN Human Rights Council machinery will meet for the first time next month. It must not be tainted with old power games. It must insist on equal standards by all governments, whether in Darfur or Guantánamo, Chechnya or China.

    Finally, the killings, rape and displacement in Darfur must stop. The Darfour Peace Agreement contains strong human rights provisions that offer a way ahead, if properly implemented. But for it to work, the UN Security Council must urgently deploy UN peacekeepers, and must not allow itself to be manipulated by the government of Sudan. Pending their deployment, the African Union monitors must be supported by the international community to carry out their work. There is a particular responsibility on the Arab states to encourage Sudan to concede to the UN operation. Arab leaders do a disservice to themselves and their people when they use solidarity as a shield to avoid their human rights responsibilities.

    More than ever the world needs countries with power and influence to behave with responsibility and respect for human rights. Governments must stop playing games with human rights.



 

Public Document
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Prophet's Appearance and Dress

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Appearance

Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) was of a height a little above the average. He was of sturdy build with long muscular limbs and tapering fingers. The hair of his head was long and thick with some waves in them. His forehead was large and prominent, his eyelashes were long and thick, his nose was sloping, his mouth was somewhat large and his teeth were well set. His cheeks were spare and he had a pleasant smile. His eyes were large and black with a touch of brown. His beard was thick and at the time of his death, he had seventeen grey hairs in it. He had a thin line of fine hair over his neck and chest. He was fair of complexion and altogether was so handsome that Abu Bakr composed this couplet about him:

"As there is no darkness in the moonlit night so is Mustafa, the well-wisher, bright."

His gait was firm and he walked so fast that others found it difficult to keep pace with him. His face was genial but at times, when he was deep in thought, there there were long periods of silence, yet he always kept himself busy with something. He did not speak unnecessarily and what he said was always to the point and without any padding. At times he would make his meaning clear by slowly repeating what he had said. His laugh was mostly a smile. He kept his feelings under firm control - when annoyed, he would turn aside or keep silent, when pleased he would lower his eyes [Tirmidhi].

Dress

His dress generally consisted of a shirt, tamad (trousers), a sheet thrown round the shoulders and a turban. On rare occasions, he would put on costly robes presented to him by foreign emissaries in the later part of his life. [Ahmed, Musnad, Hafiz Bin Qayyim]

His blanket had several patches. [Tirmidhi] He had very few spare clothes, but he kept them spotlessly clean. [Bukhari] He wanted others also to put on simple but clean clothes. Once he saw a person putting on dirty clothes and remarked,

"Why can't this man wash them." [Abu Dawood]

On another occasion he enquired of a person in dirty clothes whether he had any income. Upon getting a reply in the affirmative, he observed,

"When Allah has blessed you with His bounty, your appearance should reflect it." [Abu Dawood]

He used to observe:

"Cleanliness is piety."

 

Reference url: http://muslim-canada.org/muhammadatharhusain.html

Short Quotes

Mercy

"And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to mankind" (The Holy Quran, Al-Anbiyah, The Prophets 21:107)